Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What bicycling did for me

Like many women before me, I suppose, I have learned to hate my body. I remember comparing the size of my thighs to my friends' even at the age of 10 or so, sitting on the side of the pool.

How foolish is this? Thighs squish, it's just what they do, but you certainly don't see that in movies or TV shows. It's all about maximizing a slimming effect whenever possible. So me and my un-toned squishy-when-sitting thighs were unhappy. When I started bicycling to work earlier this year, I started to notice a composition change. My thighs felt firmer underneath the squish. Over time, there was less squish. I know now know that muscle and not fat is really key to changing composition.

I learned to love my legs this year. I used to think they were my favorite feature, but only when standing. The only reason is because they mirrored the legs I saw on the screen, with low muscle tone. My thighs got bigger with cycling and I felt proud of them for what they could do, powering me to work five days out of the week whenever the weather allowed. I miss that now, enough to consider trying to cycle in this rapidly cooling season. I've got the lights, I've got some of the warm gear, it's just a matter of finding time. My thighs have shrunk back to "normal" and my jeans are fitting looser again. I feel a sense of loss! I can tell I've grown weaker, and that would make cycling to work now even more difficult since I don't have time to "train" before starting to cycle to work, like I did this past May. I cycled in the evenings after work for a few weeks before I ever tried commuting by bike.

Cycling to work requires that I have enough time in the morning by getting up earlier, have everything ready to go, and leave the house earlier than I would if I was driving. These are all difficult things for me to accomplish even when daylight is not coming so late in the morning. I think I can do it, but I'm hesitant to make a promise or goal for myself in case I don't. I guess it's really just up to me, the only person I'd be letting down is myself. The relief in gas money would be nice though, especially since some kind of gas composition change or the weather really seems to destroy gas mileage once it gets cold out.

The only downside to bicycling is that it really doesn't engage the upper body. To try to make up for that, I am practicing wall crawls at home so I can hopefully work my way up to handstands.

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